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Team SMART Goals vs. Smart Students

There are two assumptions we can make about teaching and learning. One is that students will learn according to their effort and ability and that their teachers and their school have no impact on their learning. The other is that… Read more

What’s the Difference Between a PLC, a Collaborative Team, and a Task Force?

We recently received an email from a high school math teacher who attended a three hour PLC overview session we provided for all of the staff members of his K-12 school district. Prior to hearing . . . Read more

Collecting and Analyzing Common Assessment Data

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While most teachers recognize the value of analyzing assessment data they often struggle with collecting the data. It is not sufficient to know how many questions each student answered correctly or . . . Read more

Common Formative Assessments and the Question of Pacing

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We received a blog query from someone who expressed concern that the way common formative assessments were being implemented in his district required teachers to have identical pacing -- same page . . . Read more

The Role of an Elective Teacher in a PLC

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A frequent question that surfaces when schools attempt to implement the PLC concept is, "What about the electives. Where do they fit?" If an elective teacher is the only person in the school who… Read more

The Case for Common Formative Assessments

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We received a question from a principal of a high-performing middle school who wrote: "Although we have made significant growth in many of the core components of a professional learning community we continue to struggle with the perception of teacher autonomy as a result of… Read more

We’re Already a “Good” School; Why Do We Need to Improve?

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I recently engaged in a spirited discussion with a high school faculty that was balking at the idea of the implementing PLC concepts. Two of their concerns were: 1) “It is an affront to our . . . Read more

Team Structure in PLC

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We have heard the concern expressed that the PLC concept only allows for course-specific teams at the middle and high school level or grade level teams at the elementary level. This is not the case… Read more

Common Formative Assessments

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I had a conversation recently with a high school faculty that expressed several concerns regarding the idea that teachers teaching the same course or grade level should have common formative . . . Read more

What Might Be: Open the Door to a Better Future

Those called upon to forecast future trends in professional development are well advised to remember the biblical observation, “There is nothing new under the sun.” In fact, a case . . . Read more

Time and Support for Adults in a Professional Learning Community

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We were recently asked if the concept of providing students additional time and support when they experience difficulty also applies to the adults in a school district. Virtually everyone agrees . . . Read more

Small School PLC Implementation

Posted by Robert Eaker and Rick and Becky DuFour QUESTION: I am principal of a small school, with 1 or 2 teachers at each grade level. The collegiality/cooperation in the school is . . . Read more

The Professional Teacher

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I received an interesting response from a teacher to a blog entry I made in support of giving teachers time to collaborate. In that entry (posted January 29, 2007) I attempted to make the point . . . Read more

How Do Leaders Communicate Priorities? Attention Is All There Is!

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Superintendents often ask how they can promote PLC concepts in their schools. An article from the April 2003 Harvard Business Review entitled "Tipping Point Leadership" by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne offers some… Read more

Gap-Thinking in a Professional Learning Community

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In recent years a number of writers and researchers have utilized the phrase "habits of mind" The idea that we develop "habits" in the way we think raises an interesting question… Read more